"It seems that high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, brain function, brain size, and cognitive evidence predict," said Sudha Seshadri, a researcher and Professor of Neurology at the University Science Center. Health at San Antonio University.
"We learned that the loss of memory and brain contamination were quite noticeable among young people, as symptoms may have been noted earlier," said Seshad.
Too much to fight or escape & # 39;
Cortisol is essential for stress hormones, known as intervention in the "fight or flight" instinct. When stressed or alert, adrenal glands create more cortisol. After that, it causes an interruption of bodily functions that may cause interference to survive.
After the crisis, the cortisoles should go down and the body systems should be normal. But if you press your alarm button, if the body continues to function poorly, it causes anxiety, depression, heart disease, headaches, weight gain, sleep problems and, of course, memory problems and concentration.
According to experts, the brain is particularly vulnerable to its proper functioning.
"The brain is a very hungry organ," said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and the collaboration of the Alzheimer's Association. "There is a large amount of oxygen and nutrients needed to function properly, so that when the body needs these resources to deal with stress, the brain should be sent less".
Stress intensity is associated with memory loss
In previous studies, the relationship between cortisol and dementia development risk has been found; However, studies centered on the brain in the elderly and in memory, the hippocampus.
Among the advantages of new research, Seshadri reported that a 48-year-old male and female group was analyzed on average and MRIs were performed in the brain, not just hippocampus.
The researchers selected more than 2 thousand people and did not show signs of dementia and evaluated cognitive abilities applied to psychological tests.
Framingham Heart Study was part of a long-term study sponsored by the United States Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The study has examined the health of residents of Framingham (Massachusetts), and their children – since 1948.
The teams were re-evaluated at the start of the test at the age of 8. Blood cortisol breakfast was measured before. Afterwards, magnetic resonances were performed and memory and confidence tests were repeated.
Considering the data, the people with the highest cortisol levels had the highest memory loss after considering age, sex, body mass and smoking.
"I would not be surprised by changes in the cognition," said Fargo, who had not participated in the study. "If you have a higher cortex, you should probably stress it and you may have more cognitive tests."
Stress also causes brain structure
Fargo noted what was surprising about what was the effect of cortisol on the brain's structure.
The high levels of cortisol were associated with the bulk of the brain that moves the body (corpus radiant) and hemispheres (corpus callosum).
In addition, the study revealed that parts of the brain had lesser thoughts, emotions, speech and muscle functions in people with cortisol levels.
The average brain volume of people with high levels of cortisol was 88.5% of the total volume of the brain, 88.7% of people with normal cortisol levels.
"I was surprised to see that this great change in the brain structure was observed with elevated cortisol levels, with moderate cortisol levels," said Fargos. "If you notice structural changes in middle-aged brain, you can imagine it is time to develop dementia."
Interestingly, apparently, the effect of cortisol elevated volume on the brain occurs only in women, not men.
"Estrogen can cause cortisol," said Richard Isaacson, Medical Director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at the US School of Medicine, Weill Cornell University. "The high-level cortisol group was around 40% of women with hormone replacement therapy." Isaacson did not take part.
Seshadrik said that the adjustments made to the analysis in hormone replacement therapy were taken into account. "This does not completely exclude the harmful effects of hormones," he added, "but this story is not so small."
Seshadri also emphasized that the results of the study have only one relationship, not cause, and more research is needed to determine the relationship between cortisol levels and high dementia. He suggests that while it is happening, people should think about making lifestyle changes to deal with modern stress.
Fargo okay "We know, for example, that people who carry out whole life have a lower risk of developing demons," he said. "Take the time to yourself, do meditation, there are always ways to control the stress that gives you positive results."